Psychology of Physical Exercises

Interview Evaluation

Motivation to exercise

According to (Kravitz, 2010, p. 2), the biological and demographic factors influence the adherence of people to exercise. The men are more physically active than the women as outlined in the research by Trost et al. (2002). Moreover, if one is obese or overweight, he/she is associated with inconsistency or no physical activity. Trost et al. (2002) outlined that self-efficacy is related to the psychological association to adherence to physical exercises. Therefore, one’s self-confidence is significant in the ability of a person to do physical activity. According to Trost, the ability to consistently do physical exercise is influenced by the level of self-efficacy. Furthermoer, Hubert et al. (2008) suggested that the high level of self-efficacy particularly for women is significant in their adherence to physical exercises.

The self-worth; defined by the foundations of one’s particular values concerning the exercises is also a significant factor in influencing the women’s adherence to practices. In other words, the more someone thinks that he/she can successfully do physical activities, the more he/she will adhere to the physical exercise programs. For the people who subscribe to the exercise programs, the motivation comes from intrinsic factors related to the expected enjoyment (Hubert et al. , 2008, p. 374-384).

The behavioural attributes as well as the skills influence the adherence to exercises or otherwise. The behaviours and habits such as alcoholism, diets, sleep as well as smoking is linked to one’s adherence to activities. According to (Seguin et al., 2010, p. 201-218), the compliance to exercise programs is influenced by the person’s perception of the health benefits that can arise from the exercise. It is also necessary to note that the health benefits from the physical exercise come after some time. Therefore the consistent physical exercisers seek to improve their quality of life and create time for the physical activities. Frequently, the physical exercise performers have quoted that they do the exercises because they bring happiness.

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There exist a plethora of reasons that make people reluctant to do physical activities. According to (Lee et al., 2013,p.12-22), the majority of people state that lack of time is the primary barrier towards physical activities. Apart from time unavailability, safety issues have also been cited as barriers to physical exercise. Moreover, other people have stated that absence of self-motivation/ self-management skills has caused them not to adopt doing exercises. Some people also state that they find physical exercises uninteresting.

The family obligations such as caring for small children discourage people especially women from undertaking physical activities. The insufficient support or encouragement from the family members has also been quoted as a barrier to doing exercises (CDC, 2017). The community design such as the availability of parks and sidewalks also influence the people’s adherence to doing exercises. For instance, lack of the parks, bicycle trails, pedestrian lanes, and paths prevent people from doing exercises.

Other people find doing exercise uncomfortable. Although people always state the health benefits of doing exercise, they cannot help the unpleasant experiences associated with exercise. For instance, some people refrain from doing physical exercises because they detest sweating, getting dirty, or lack of breathing. Others hate the muscle cramps, blisters, and muscle sores. Moreover, bad weather such as rain, hot sun as well as cold makes people unwilling to do exercises. Working in the gym in front of people make some people feel shy and hate doing physical exercises. Therefore, there is the need to increase personal interest in doing exercises (Pagoto, 2014).

The Relationship between the study findings and Behaviour Change theory

The behaviour change theory proposes the variables that affect the change of attitude or perception about a subject. As far as the exercises are concerned, the social cognitive theory is significant in shaping the way people do exercises. The social cognitive theory is based on the three elements of behaviour, personal factors and environment (The World Bank, 2017). The behaviour change theory in the context of physical exercise involves the following variables;


The confidence or perception of a person towards doing the exercises influence the way people do the physical activities. For instance, during the interview, the respondent stated that she used to do exercises when she was young. Such a statement illustrates that age is a significant factor that influences one’s perception towards doing physical activities. The perception that one can perform a particular task successfully creates the motivation towards doing the specific activity(Hubert et al. , 2008, p. 374-384).


According to Seguin et al. (2010), there are positive consequences of doing the physical activities. Saima Akmal (the respondent) was aware that doing exercise assists someone to lead a healthy life. She said that doing physical exercise contributes somebody to have good psychological and physical health. Moreover, she stated that doing physical exercise would help her to reduce her body weight. If something has more benefits, it is worth doing, and the human behaviour will be oriented towards doing the beneficial things as opposed to non-beneficial things (Seguin et al., 2010, p. 201-218).


Someone’s beliefs or personal evaluation towards physical activities influence his/her adherence to physical exercises. Saima had a positive attitude towards doing exercises. However, she was bound by environmental factors that acted as barriers towards her active life. For this reason, the study findings can be linked to the social cognitive theory. In the social cognitive theory, an individual is driven by the external factors rather than the intrinsic factors. The interactions between behaviour, environment and personal factors influence the way people perform exercises (The World Bank, 2017). The human behaviour concerning doing the exercises is influenced by self-efficacy, environment, and emotions. Therefore adherence to physical exercises is affected by the individual’s self-confidence; the belief that one can do a particular exercise successfully. The environment also influences the physical activities. For instance, the interviewee stated that her house has a gym. Therefore, the availability of the facilities for doing the exercise influence how people do the exercises. Moreover, she stated that she has less time for doing the exercises due to taking care of her child. Meaning, the environment such as the people around somebody can influence their adherence to doing physical activities. Furthermore, the personal emotions influence the attitudes towards doing exercises (The World Bank, 2017).

Approaches to elicit behaviour change

The physical activity is a significant factor in the management of overweightedness. High levels of physical activity are advantageous in the management of energy and maintaining the balance between appropriate weight and good health. However, the amount of physical activity required to produce as visible weight loss is difficult to be achieved by overweighted people (Grave et al., 2009, p.2010–2016). Therefore, the barriers to the physical exercises are hardly overcome by the individuals’ or group support programs. The cognitive process plays a crucial role in the success or failure of one’s adherence to the physical exercise programs. Therefore, there is a need to look at the strategies that can change a person’s behaviour concerning the physical exercises with considerations to the social cognitive theory.

Assessment of an individual’s activity

Carrying out an initial assessment is important to determine the current levels of activity for an individual. A qualified assessor such as a clinician needs to inquire the individual’s level of activity and whether or not the current situation of physical activity assists in promoting a healthy life. Therefore, it is possible to identify the barriers and the motivations for exercising (Grave et al., 2009, p.2010–2016).

Tailoring the goals of the activity to an Individual

The physical activity advisor or clinician need to find out the most appropriate/ applicable type of activity for a particular individual. The development of a physical activity plan is done following the current environmental situations. The physical activity should begin with low levels goals and then increase up to 150-200 minutes weekly (World Health Organization, 2000). There are many physical exercises recommended for overweighted people such as behaviour therapy. The behaviour therapy aims at helping to change the lifestyles by providing behaviour skills (Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2005).


The behavioural remedy for non-adherence to physical exercise and overweightedness is self-monitoring of the energy intake and energy utilisation (Kirschenbaum R. C., 2011, p.377-394). The higher the level of self-monitoring, the higher the weight loss. For this reason, the self-monitoring creates awareness of the energy deficit in an individual as well as ways of maximising energy consumption (Fabricatore, 2013, p.92–99).

Building the Mindset of an active life

In the process of doing physical activities, the majority of the people drop out due to high expectancies on the benefits of the physical activities (Melchionda et al., 2011, p. 15–124). Therefore, there is the need for encouraging the people to do exercises with set short-term goals. The short-term goals are significant on the cognitive behaviour of the people. In other studies, the prediction of weight loss was made by raised dietary restrictions. One needs to be informed of the most appropriate dietary behaviour while doing exercises(Grave et al., 2005, p.1961–1969).

Ideas for future research

There is a need to research on the new as well as the most effective cognitive strategy for the standard approach for assisting people to do physical exercises (Grave et al., 2005,p.265–273). Continuous assessment of the physical activity of individuals as well as teaching people on the best practices such as dietary and lifestyles would enhance doing exercises. Moreover, self-efficacy is a key determinant of one’s adherence to physical exercises. Therefore, it is important to research on the most appropriate methods of encouraging people to do more physical activities.

Carrying out the studies would involve the use of questionnaires to enable identifying the factors that can improve self-efficacy as well as self-motivation. The change of attitude towards physical exercise should be studied so that people will be encouraged to do more physical exercises. Since the human mind is oriented towards the beneficial things, it is relevant to change the psychology of exercising so that people can be encouraged to do more exercises. For instance, organising research on the best practices to lose weight for a group whereby the person who loses most weight is rewarded. In such as scenario, people will do exercises with the motivation of the prize to be won. On the other hand, relevant data concerning the type of exercise, frequency of exercise as well as dietary behaviour that contributes to successful weight loss will be obtained (Grave et al., 2005,p.265–273).



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Seguin, R. e. a., 2010. Strength training and older women: A cross-sectional study examining factors related to exercise adherence. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 18(2), pp. 201-218.

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